Senate Democrats

Reid Spokesman: Fox News Agrees It Should Not Take “Christmas Miracle” For GOP To Stop Blocking Health Care For 9/11 First Responders

Fox Hosts Call Obstruction “Maddening,” “Disgusting,” A “National Shame,” A “National Disgrace,” And Consistently Hold Republicans’ “Feet to the Fire”

Washington, DC—Jon Summers, spokesman for Nevada Senator Harry Reid, released the following statement on Republican efforts to block adequate health care for 9/11 workers:

“Republican attempts to block health care for people who got sick while saving lives on 9/11 is a new low. Many of the people who rushed into burning buildings with no hesitation on that tragic day developed serious illnesses and diseases from working in hazardous conditions and breathing the toxic air. For some, it’s a miracle they survived that day.  But even Fox News agrees with us that it should not take a second ‘Christmas miracle’ for Republicans to work with Democrats and ensure these heroes have the health care they need to treat their conditions.

“It’s another example of Republicans’ hypocrisy to claim they want to help 9/11 first responders, then actively work to obstruct efforts to provide health care to the very people they say they support. Democrats believe that we have a solemn obligation to these 9/11 heroes, but Republicans want to tell them they’re on their own – in the middle of the holiday season, no less.”


Over the past few days, Fox News has called out Republicans again and again for blocking health care benefits for 9/11 first responders who developed illnesses and diseases while responding to the tragedies of that day. Republicans’ decision to block this common-sense care for our nation’s heroes is so egregious that even Fox does not think they have a leg to stand on.??

Shepard Smith, The Fox Report: “Who’s going to hold these people’s feet to the fire? We’re able to put a 52-story building so far down there at Ground Zero, we’re able to pay for tax cuts for billionaires who don’t need them and it’s not going to stimulate the economy. But we can’t give health care to Ground Zero first responders who ran right into the fire? You know how do they how do they sleep at night after this vote on uh ground zero first responders from 9/11? Are they going to get that done or are we going to leave these American heroes out there to twist in the wind?”

Chris Wallace (responding): “Well,it’s a good question and it’s a national shame. The idea that, you know, the people who were there were the first responders after 9/11 and have had health problems as a result —  you would think if you are going to take care of all of these other things – and they were gonna  pass these earmarks and name buildings and post offices after people –  that they would take care of some authentic American heroes. But, that I don’t know what the deal is and whether they will get to that or not.”

Smith: “[T]hese people ran to ground zero to save people’s lives and we are not even going to give ‘em medicine for the illness  that they got down there? It’s disgusting –  it’s a national disgrace –  it’s a shame –  and everybody who voted against it should have to stand up for and account for himself or herself. Is anybody going to hold them accountable?”

Wallace: “No, you’re right. And the fact is that you know politicians never miss an opportunity to wrap themselves in the flag of 9/11, and talk about the lessons we learn, and you know the politics of it, but when it comes to putting up –  and I think most Americans who may have  concerns about federal spending have no problems with the idea of spending money to help those folks out.” [The Fox Report, 12/17/10]??

Dave Briggs, Fox and Friends Sunday: “It could be the could be the Christmas miracle that dozens of 9/11 first responders have been long waiting for. … How maddening has it been? In particular, the Senate Republicans holding up a vote that would give health coverage to thousands of your peers?… The good news is New York Senator Gillibrand said that she believes they have the votes and they are going to try to get a vote. Harry Reid I know wants a vote and could come on Tuesday, Let’s hope the senator is correct and they have the votes.” [12/19/10]

Peter Johnson Jr., Fox News Legal Analyst, Fox & Friends: “Some opponents of the bill say Congress needed to know how its $7.4 billion price tag would be paid over the next ten years. I guess they fail to understand that these folks already gave it the office. A hellish pit of death and desperation where strangers and siblings dug side by side for the remains of firefighters and cops and the EMTs and office workers. That they paid the bill in full with their courage and are still paying today with their lives. Shame, embarrassment, outrage, anger, all proper reactions to the senators who will find one excuse after another to explain away the fact that they have turned their back on American heroes. Heroes whose only sin was to expect nothing for their service and were then promised the world by politicians who couldn’t take enough pictures with them.” [12/13/10]

Rick Folbaum, America’s News HQ: “The tax package was passed, Tony, so now we still have a couple of Senators from Wyoming, one of whom was just on less than an hour ago, Senator Barrasso, who has been one of the Senators blocking this. Seriously, what is going on with these Republican lawmakers keeping this bill and keeping these people from getting the help they deserve?” [12/18/10]

Brian Kilmeade, Fox and Friends: "I understand the focus here is on the men and women who went in the days of the attack and after the attack and we didn’t know what the air was like and they are paying the price with horrendous cancers and illnesses, some of which caused their death. This is for them." [12/20/10]?                                      ?

Chris Wallace, Fox News Sunday, to Senator Kyl: “Everybody praises first responders as heroes. You say you’re skeptical about the bill. Why not find a way to give these heroes peace of mind when it comes to healthcare?” [12/19/10]? ?

Kevin Madden, Former Press Secretary for Mitt Romney, Appearing on Fox News Sunday: “I think there is also a lot of worry on the Republican side that what used to be a New York issue could quickly become a national issue. I think it will be approved.” [12/19/10]??

Uma Pemmaraju, America’s News HQ: “Let’s start with the September 11th health bill which provides $7.4 billion in health care costs for thousands of workers and volunteers who are sick from inhaling toxic dust as a result of working to help clean up after the world trade center was attacked. Why did the GOP Senators block the bill?” [12/19/10]